Pacific Host Hotels assumes management of La Valencia

By Dave Schwab

Staff Writer

Pacifica Host Hotels has assumed management of La Valencia, La Jolla’s pink-hued, 113-room hotel, and has the option to purchase the property, the company announced in a joint release with the Collins Co.

“We recognize the historical significance of this hotel in La Jolla,” Michael G. de Jesus, Pacifica Host Hotels corporate director of sales and marketing, said in the release.

San Diego-based Pacifica Host Hotels is the hotel ownership and management arm of Pacifica Companies. The 30 properties across the United States in various locations including Arizona, California, Florida and Utah, including the Holiday Inn Express La Jolla. Other assets owned by Pacifica include independent properties at the Grand Canyon and on Catalina Island, de Jesus said.

The La Valencia, the landmark hotel built in 1926, hotel was on the market, reportedly because of the lingering ill effects of a polo accident suffered years ago by family patriarch Harry Collins. The family’s interest in selling it was confirmed two weeks ago by general manager David Friederich, who could not be reached for comment after the deal was announced.

De Jesus would not comment on whether Pacifica would keep Auberge, the company that has been managing La Valenica for the Collins family for the last two years.

Steven Grady of The Focus Group, a real estate development company at 7938 Ivanhoe Ave., told the Light last week, “We were competing for it (La Valencia) but did not get it.”

The San Diego Daily Transcript had reported in August that the likely buyer was Kirkland, Wash.-based Noble House Hotels & Resorts. At that time, the reported price was about $40 million, the publication stated.

La Valencia’s “sister” property, the 55-room Rancho Valencia Resort and Spa in Rancho Santa Fe, was sold in April for $15.5 million by RVR Partners LP of San Diego to Protea Holdings of La Jolla, a partnership controlled by the Jacobs family, founder of Qualcomm.

The hotel management group’s brand name hotels include include Marriott, Hilton, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Crown Plaza, Best Western and Wyndham.

In San Diego, the hotel chain also owns Pacific Shores Inn Pacific Beach, Diamond Head Inn Pacific Beach, Days Inn Suites Sea World, Best Western Stratford Inn Del Mar, Holiday Inn Express Chula Vista, Holiday Inn South Bay and Holiday Inn Express & Suites Escondido/Wild Animal Park.

Pacifica Companies recently has received permission from the city of Imperial Beach to begin demolition and rebuilding on Seacoast Inn, an oft-delayed project for a four-story, 78-room, Mediterranean-style resort.